Of Trees and Dreams (by )

Mary's first apples

This is the first crop of apples from Mary's apple tree we have in a pot in the garden, I been producing alot from the garden this year but it is frustrating as it is all pots and grow bags and we are still waiting for an allotment, which also means I can't make the garden nice either at the moment but that will all come in time.

I am however really missing my fruit trees that me and Dad planted at The Bakery - two apples (which technically belong to Cranham Scout Group), a golden plum and a cherry. The apples were producing from the first year and they were large sweet watery green things - normally only one or two per tree a year, the plum had only started producing a few here and there when we left. If they are still there then they will now be starting to crop properly. However they were not in the best place for water and I wonder if anyone has watered them.

There is however a community orchard opening up near us so I am hoping to be able to get onto that - but it is being restricted to the houses around the space which we just miss being - so we will see.

The final death nail has gone into the coffin of the dream we had - I was still thinking we could save up and buy it all back and then be in control and do good things like the balcony and conservatory and the orchard proper etc... 6 yrs of wasted effort, time and money (the rent (which we wanted to be a mortgage) - we paid and did alot of structural repairs and things and tried to buy chunks of it at various points, paid for and did a hell of a lot of gardening) - but it was not to be. However it is also a relief - we didn't have the sort of money that was needed to sort the place out - mainly because we were there and Alaric did not take work deals that would have taken him out of the UK to live - I know he feels incredibly frustrated over this. But now we have the practical house and not the dream house and we can achieve everything but the goats and hydro-electricity (for which some of the infrastructure is already in place down there thanks to Al and the work men after the flood), and it just won't look as pretty.

There are no ifs and buts now, as we are too far down the line there are only happends - but I do wonder how things would have been different if we had stayed in Essex - I would have had a science career, I think, which would have slowly mutated to a communication role so in some ways - I think it has just been a different path to the same thing.

Maybe one day we will have our tumble down farm to do up with various out buildings to turn into workshops and art studios - though we are pretty happy here. In my opinion we moved here to Gloucestershire, too young whilst we were still formulating careers and so money was up and down and I was ill etc...

Dumped in the same situation now I would do things very differently indeed.

Al’s legs – an update (by )

Ok so though the nasty halo rash thing cleared up with the antibiotics the bits on Alaric's legs are still red and sore lumps that itch. Our drs surgery seems to have stopped giving out appointments at the moment and insists you phone up in the morning and talk to someone - I think they are supposed to be phone appointments except they aren't scheduled either and you have to sit there for a couple of hours awaiting their phone back unable to do much incase you miss the call :/ Then they tell you to come to the surgery and prescribe stuff - or at least that has so far been our experience.

Anyway so Al ended up seeing the Dr with them again apparently they are not currently infected but could become so if they remain the way they are as you can't help but scratch etc.. They are the way they are as Al is still having an allergic reaction to them :/

So he has tablets and cream and we wait ten days to see if they go down basically.

Cranham Feast 2013 (by )

I forgot my camera on the Saturday - boo hiss - Alaric I believe took some photos on his phone but I do not yet have them to pop on the blog!

Saturday we arrived and I set up face painting which I was doing for the whole afternoon inbetween talking to friends and the like 🙂 Jeany took part in the Boundary Race but was sad she came last - the fact that she was talked into doing the race by the first aider who was dealing with her ouchy chest (she tried to summersault on the bouncy castle and had a collision) didn't seem to mean anything to her - we pointed out she'd raced whilst injured and after Christmas Daddy should be able to start running again so they can train for next year!

Sunday we got all the kids sports stuff ready - softy play kit, rackets, balls of various sizes, skipping ropes, hula hoops and more and drove to the cricket pitch were I felt bad about having to get cricket peeps to move cars off of were the kids sports and games were going to be. Then we walked to the church for the flower festival and musical interlude,

Jean and Mary on Cranham Common

Mary sat down expectantly on the seats awaiting the music but got bored about half way through and was grumpy that mummy and daddy were on different rows and insisted on going from one to the other until Al gave up and took the girls outside to run around. Music was lovely with flute, organ, oboe? and sax, I bumped into a friend I had not seen for ages but as she was the flutist it was a quick hi!

Scare crow in the close

Scarecrow in a wheelbarrow

scarecrows cranham feast

Scarecrows featured heavily in the flower festival this year - I wish I'd found a few more to photograph but it is a busy weekend for us 🙂

Cranham Feast Banner and Flower Display

The Banner and belt (which has been missing for a few decades!) were waiting for Al at the Church entrance, And the flowers inside were amazing - I didn't photograph as much as I wanted as chatting meant I ran out time - bad Sarah.

Flower pot people!

a little mouse at Cranham Flower festival

rainbow flower display

Flower Festival St James the Great

Birds nest flower display

Cranham woods in the church

celebrating sheep

Sheep at cranham feast

A mouse where?

Dragon flies in the flower display

Alaric has carried the Feast Banner for the last few years - this year we had three cubs (one of which was Jean) and they had a procession from the church to the field were the service was being held and then a later one up to the cricket field.

Alaric and the Feast Banner

I was a bit worried as to fit all the sports stuff in we had taken our car crate out of the boot and so we had no rug to sit upon during the service but a nice man (not sure who he was) had put out a series of blankets so we sat on the most purple one - as in me and Mary as Al and Jean had to be up with the banner. Mary was taking it all soooo seriously - NOT!

Mary taking the open air church service very seriously

It was an animal service so of course there were animals! Everywhere! And me and Mary got loving kisses off of a black doggie and Mary wouldn't believe me that they were DONKEYS and not horses. Then she loudly named all the animals and ones that weren't there but she thought should have been and then she pretended to be a cat. I don't think anyone noticed in all the baaring and barking! I hope no one noticed she'd broken my top too and announced loudly that Mummy has boobies,

Little Donkey at the Feast Service Cranham

animal open air service cranham feast 2013

donkey snack time

sheep awaiting their blessing

There was a silver band and we sang the Cranham Feast hymn for the second time which was nice. There was someone important taking the service but I'm really lame and knowing what's what with sorts of thing sand only remember that the lovely sheep were his.

silver band cranham

Mary found the village sheep and as she had done the day before attempted to climb into the pen with them - she almost got over the top on Saturday.

Mary found sheep

We then amassed and began to parade up the hill to the cricket ground - Al's cousins and uncle tried to help me with Mary up the hill but she was being a moo!

Alaric and Jean getting ready to parade Mary wants to go with them

We then put games out for the kids to play so they weren't noisy during the handbell ringing.

Jean and Alaric playing Giant dominos

I really like listening to handbells - I used to do handbells in junior school - not that I was any good!

handbell ringers at the feast

The animals processed as well and spent the afternoon at the Cricket Club were cricket was a foot. This was interesting whilst trying to run the children's sports!

Sheep on the cricket pitch Cranham Feast

Donkey eating the hedge of the cricket pitch cranham feast

It was actually quite funny 🙂

And lastly we finished with hula hooping and football.

Alaric foot hula

And that's that for another year!

Running to Stand Still (by )

So for the past 4 months I have basically not used my walking stick, I have been walking and lifting small amounts of stuff and generally getting on with things. Today I managed to sit on a rug on the ground for the animal service at the Cranham Feast and even jumped up to take some photos of donkeys and sheep (as you do), but it began to hurt so I didn't stand up for the songs but sat with Mary on the rug (Jean and Al were holding banners and flags and what not).

When I say hurt - it was nothing but a minor ache, I then walked up to the cricket field in the procession and even carried the baby for bits of it but that was beginning to be painful so I was slow but not as slow as last year and I felt proud I was walking much much much better even than last year when I was just happy to have walked it. But everyone was slowly passing me and I felt embarrassed(and sad) that I had to let my toddler cry instead of carrying her. People did offer to carry her but she refused to go to anyone other than me.

I made it to the cricket field and sat - for not very long - then I started setting up the childrens sports and I was happy, happy and exhilerated that I was managing to sort of run the routes and show the kids how to skip and so on. And I thought wow! What an improvement and then I looked at the cricketers and I thought - you know I've worked so hard to be able to do this, to be get the mobility back and to try and keep some level of fitness whilst it and the aneamia were bad. So much effort fighting the chronic fatigue and pain which will always be there and being careful about foods and the like, so much physio and effort. It's like my own mini olympic training... to be not quiet as fit as a normal person.

So though I feel proud and happy about what I have achieved and the improvements, I feel sad that it takes just so much energy and effort and to a certain extent there is always going to be something I am battling even on brilliant days - this is becoming less of an issue as I get older actually as my peers are increasingly coming up against illnesses and the like and I at least I have had a decade to adjust were as for them it is new. I also find myself feeling angry. I think, 'you know all that effort and people look at me and think lazy fat cow' and I am angry about that, I am jealous as well - the darkest moment with that was during Jean's pregnancy when I had been let out of the hospital to go to the pictures with Al, he was pushing my wheel chair and everything hurt. I had followed all the health advice and done everything right and there outside a pub we went past was a woman as pregnant as me in tottering heels, fag in one hand and bottle of something in the other talking about going clubbing. I can't express the hate I felt in that moment.

I've probably said most of this before but it just sort of hit home to me tonight as we watched AVATAR for the first time and the guy having to pull his legs about reminded me of the fact that there had been phases of my life when I've had to do that and bizarly that it is sometimes easier when you are in a wheelchair or on crutches as people can see you need help. When you are getting better (or worse) people see an apparently healthy young person and tutt about them not giving up a train seat etc...

As I tell Jean - you can never truly know how another is feeling, you do not know how hard or easy things are for them, you should not judge them as you can not judge them, you can not know.

Today Al was also worried that I was doing the main lifting and shifting for the sports stuff we did with the kids, I got it all out of the shed and lumped it across from the car etc but I was capable and he was doing the procession holding the banner and I didn't want him pushed to far with the way his legs have been and the antibiotics etc...

He was pleased to see I didn't flag as much as he was expecting - the odd sit down here and there was enough and I only started limping towards the end and it was a hard long day for me.

It feels to me like I am Running to Stand Still and I haven't even really managed to stand still, I have slipped backwards - I write adventure stories with caves and mountains and things in, I remember climbing, I take Jean to the climbing wall and look at the pictures of people climbing - I see moo cow fluffy chalk bags and I get excited and then I feel hollow as I explain to Jean why I am not buying it.

I think I also push myself for events as I can push myself through them and then take time to recover and it makes the more painful times tolerable by having something to look forward too. I have had a decade or so to adapt to my situation.

I got a thing through from college - the rearranged meeting about disabilities and stuff (I missed the first one due to Al's legs) - part of me wants to go 'no I'm fine now honest I don't need help.' This would be a stupid thing to do but it makes me feel so pathetic.

I know though that this is standard for those with long term / chronic conditions and on going health issues - hey I even stole the title of this blog post from a friends audio play about ME /Chronic Fatigue. The money from it's sales is going into research into the condition which can only be good - it wouldn't solve the separated pelvis but it would be something 🙂

Mainly though I am happy today - I walked and ran and tried to show people how to hula though I was not able to do much other than head and hand hula and I took video of Al trying to do foot hula and the kids loved everything and it was a nice day and I was pretty much a normal person - no stick or crutches nor lifts needed.

More Purple in the Room! (by )

In an effort to stop post going missing and to stop the chaos of the shoes (our shoe rack broke around Christmas time) I decided that the lovely metallic purple and white table could go just inside the door and a purple folding crate I bought on special offer during the move, would be the perfect solution - seems to be working so far.

Purple and white post table

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